Monday, April 23, 2018
Colleges

Florida Gators vow to be better next season

GAINESVILLE — When the clock finally ran out on Florida's game against Florida State on Saturday — and its first losing season in 34 years — there was a strong vow to make sure there isn't a repeat next season.

"It's a clean slate, but you still have to remember about what happened," LT Max Garcia said after the Seminoles' 37-7 victory. "And you want to not let that happen ever again. We don't want to feel that pain. We don't want to feel this pain ever again.

"I'm sick and tired of losing. Next year, we have that pain to sit in our hearts."

Despite the misery, Florida coach Will Muschamp said there was no relief in the season ending: "You want to keep battling and keep playing if you're a competitor."

Title hopes: FSU faces Duke, which beat North Carolina 27-25, in the ACC title game. Coach Jimbo Fisher said he hasn't studied the No. 24 Blue Devils but expects it to be well-coached under David Cutcliffe.

"I haven't seen them on film one lick, I promise you," he said.

PURIFOY GONE? Florida CB Loucheiz Purifoy told ESPN after the game he will bypass his senior season and enter the draft. He had 24 tackles and two interceptions in 11 games.

Spittle: Emotions boiled over when Gators LB Ronald Powell appeared to spit at Seminoles LT Cameron Erving.

"It's football," FSU C Bryan Stork said. "It's a big rivalry."

Records watch: Jameis Winston's 19-of-31, 327-yard day was his sixth 300-yard game among 12 starts. He passed ex-Seminole (and Land O'Lakes High graduate) Drew Weatherford for passing yards by an ACC freshman (3,490). His season total ranks second in school history, behind Chris Weinke's 4,167 in 2000. His 35 touchdown passes set an FSU record and are second in NCAA history among freshmen behind Oklahoma's Sam Bradford (36 in 2007).

FSU's Roberto Aguayo hit field goals of 49, 40 and 28 yards and all four extra points to push his total to 138 points — second to ex-Seminole K Dustin Hopkins in ACC history (140).

TEBOW'S SPEECH: Former Florida QB Tim Tebow was on the sideline during the first half and spoke to the team before the game.

The 2007 Heisman winner's message: "Every man that goes down has the ability to get back up. The difference is how you get back up, how that man gets back up. A man can get down and come back withered, can come back beaten. But a man that goes down and comes back and is changed is different from him being down. That's who we are. That's who the Gators are. That's who we need to be."

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